Ekso Bionics Is the Most Inspirational Company I’ve Ever Visited

Keith Fitz-Gerald Oct 17, 2014
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… and the best tech investment you can make today

A lot of investment analysts rely on company websites and investor relations to do their research. Very few leave their “ivory towers.”

I’m a little different.

I believe boots on the ground are the only way to go. That’s why I’ve traveled to more countries than I can count, to personally visit the companies I recommend. Some names you would know and some you’ve never heard of (yet). I talk to founders, CEOs, accountants, factory workers, and truck drivers. To be honest, I can get a little pushy sometimes. I poke around their warehouses, play with their equipment, sample their products, dig through their books, and (politely) interrogate their employees.

I’m relentless with these guys – so much so that I got dubbed “the Indiana Jones of investing.” That made me laugh, but the way I see it, it’s simply my duty to you.

If I’m going to recommend an investment, I’d better have a darned good idea of what the company does and how they do it. And you can’t find that on a website.

So I was pretty excited about my recent visit Ekso Bionics Holdings Inc. (OTC:EKSO) to dig up the details on our unstoppable “human augmentation” trend.

But I never thought I’d witness this…

My Visit to Ekso Bionics

Ekso’s headquarters is housed in the Ford Point building in the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historic Park. When you walk in the door, you immediately see pictures of the Ekso’s “Ambassadors” – all of whom are pioneering neural rehabilitation in ways that were the realm of science fiction until recently.

Let me be blunt. My trip to tiny Ekso was quite simply the most inspirational visit I’ve ever made to any company… in any industry… anywhere in the world.

I say that because what I learned there convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that we’re on the right track when it comes to the integration of human bodies and technology – a mix I call “human augmentation.”

My ambassador for the day was 51-year-old Chris Tagatac, a dynamic individual who once fell off a ladder and suffered a catastrophic spinal injury in the process.

Like many people who have suffered a traumatic event, Chris vividly remembers having to climb “just one more rung” on the ladder to reach the floodlight he was trying to change – his last step before being paralyzed.

I met Chris as he rolled up in his wheelchair to join the discussion I was having with CEO Nathan Harding and CFO Max Scheder-Bieschin about Ekso.

A few minutes later, Chris asked with a grin if I’d like to go for a walk with him so that we could see more of the company.

Now, I’d done a lot of research on human augmentation before visiting (you got all the highlights in your investor’s report). One thing I learned was that most wearable robotics suits require hours of learning and very complicated “suiting up” to get going. So I was fully prepared to be waiting a while or to be ushered into another room while Chris got ready.

That’s not what happened.

Almost casually, Chris moved from his wheelchair to an exoskeleton splayed across a chair next to us and buckled in. Less than five minutes later, he stood up at the push of a button – and we went for a walk together to see the rest of the factory.

The process was so seamless and so quick that I was taken aback. My jaw actually dropped.

Chris told me with a wry smile that he’s used to reactions like mine. In fact, one of his favorite things to do is go to a party in his wheelchair, suit up, and then stand casually with his buddies at a bar table as if nothing of note has taken place.

That’s part of what makes Ekso products so powerful.

You see, Ekso’s suits are designed from the get-go to switch from user to user. They require only a few key adjustments to accommodate different-sized femurs, for example, or hips. There’s no special electrical connections and no “under suits” needed, like there are with competitors’ products.

Click to Enlarge

Impressively, user profiles are changed literally at the push of a button mounted on the backpack to which the lightweight batteries (each about the size of a wine bottle) attach. This makes these suits tremendously efficient, both for both patients and for the rehabilitation centers in North America, Europe, Africa, and South America that have Ekso suits on hand. You can see these locations on the map below.

This rapid change capability is key. Not only can patients spend more time in each suit, but the staff needed to help them doesn’t have to spend a lot of time simply getting the machines “tuned” to each user.

Instead of helping, say, 10 patients a day, with anywhere from 30 minutes to more than an hour between therapy sessions, they can double or triple the number of physical therapy sessions, while requiring fewer staff. The gain in productivity is simply tremendous.

So are the results.

Ekso suits have helped people will severe mobility disorders, stroke victims and those who have experienced significant spinal trauma take more than 5,000,000 steps and counting.

But don’t take my word for it. Ekso has plenty of support from the medical community and third party researchers. It was picked as the “clear leader” in this space in September by Bergmannstrost Center in Germany. They study they presented at the International Workshop on Wearable Robotics compared Ekso with its two biggest competitors (ReWalk and Cyberdyne). Ekso came out ahead in 1) ease of changing from patient to patient, 2) absence of skin injuries from the suit, and 3) the operation of its software.

The human element in all this is magic. Talking to Chris, you get the sense that his injury does not define him. He defines life as he sees fit and, according to him, “Ekso’s suits make that absolutely possible.”

I learned during my visit that the company has also developed what it calls “variable assist.” This is a machine-aided technology allowing an Ekso exoskeleton to essentially “self-adapt” to each individual user’s physical capabilities. This is very, very important not to mention a significant competitive advantage.

That’s because it’s not uncommon for stroke victims or those who have suffered a traumatic spinal injury to have partial use of one side of their body and wildly different strength between left limbs and right limbs. (That was certainly the case for me when I crushed my neck in 1998 and lost control over much of the left side of my body for the balance of that year.)

No other wearable suit that I know of has this capability. This gives Ekso a commanding lead in the sensor technology needed to make this happen. We’ll come back to this in the weeks ahead.

As an investment, there’s no doubt Ekso is on the speculative side.

This company is very small so it’s almost completely off the radar at the moment. Not one in 1,000 investors has ever heard of it.

The company’s market cap is a mere $91 million. Average daily trading volume is approximately 609,000 shares over the past 90 days. With a price of just around $1 a share, many investors would give it a pass, especially since the company is losing money.

But I think that’d be exactly the wrong thing to do.

It’s not the least bit uncommon for the best high-tech companies to emerge from universities like Ekso did and to run at a loss while building up important proof of concept results and establishing the infrastructure needed to grow its customer base.

In that sense, Ekso’s tracking perfectly.

Ekso is different it is from other emerging technology companies I’ve reviewed over the years in that it’s NOT just “vaporware.” My visit convinced me that the company not only understands what it needs to do, but how to get there.

In addition to developing medical technology, Ekso’s got another side to it that’s working with the military. Much of the stuff they’re doing in this area today centers on making soldiers stronger and towards increasing their work capacity in combat situations. Load carrying capacity is especially critical, for example, when you consider the average load out for a Marine these days is well over 100 pounds.

Ekso’s received more than $35 million in research grants from the Department of Defense and has licensed technology to Lockheed Martin. The company was recently selected by Google’s Boston Dynamics to continue developing technology for DARPA’s Warrior Web Task A project. Furthermore, Ekso has partnerships with the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and medical rehabilitation experts, including the Rehab Institute of Chicago, Kessler, and Glostrup Hospital.

Normally when you do that, Uncle Sam or your partners own everything. But Ekso has wisely retained core intellectual property rights. So I expect the company to commercialize new developments at a dramatically faster pace and in a more thorough manner than other emerging technology companies.

I also like the fact that we’re talking about a company with an initial target medical market of more than $1 billion. Very few companies have that kind of potential built in their initial products. Imagine what happens when they lateral the exoskeleton into industrial, safety, and manufacturing sectors.

And, finally, we’re talking about a tiny innovative player with more than 150 international patents and 29 U.S. patents – seven of which have been granted.

If anything, $1 per share is unbelievably cheap. I still think this is a $21.14 stock by 2020, a mere six years from now.

You can do the math as easily as I can.

There’s something else to consider, too. Ekso is not just a great investment for your financial future. It’s a great investment for the future of humankind.

Wait until they figure out how to link this stuff directly to the brain!

I’m tracking that thread right now and will have an update shortly that is every bit as exciting.

Best regards for great investing,

Keith

40 Responses to Ekso Bionics Is the Most Inspirational Company I’ve Ever Visited

  1. Barry Sorkin says:

    Hi & Thanks

    My question is what do u mean by when u say

    ” ’m tracking that thread right now ” — Do u mean the tricker action ?? or what ??

    and will have an update shortly that is every bit as exciting.

    Thanks again

  2. max says:

    its a lifting up of the soul moment to see the smile on his face wonderful hope they can make it reasonable enough in cost to hit the masses

  3. Carla De Petris says:

    I am reading your letter for three years now and other expensive subscription, but is the first time that I had the opportunity to buy this stock the first time you mention. It sound very interesting Thank you

  4. robert says:

    I recently , at your recommendation purchased a few hundred shares of Ekso , Should I hold long-term or look to trade as it unfolds ?

  5. John Fuller says:

    I’ll invest as soon as my online acct is est. I have a chronic pain problem because of a lower back degeneragion and may need a suite in the future.

    • Barbara Jernegan says:

      I bought the stock. It is very exiting, however, before you do anything, please check out PRP. Protein Rich Plasma.

      Blood is taken from your arm and put into a centrifuge so plasma goes to the top. Then it is injected into the trigger point of your injury. My sciatica is gone. I suffered for 30 years. Regenerative medicine, the wave of the future for skeletal problems. Hip replacements, knees, etc. Another wonderful development.

      • finolarentals@gmail.com says:

        Wow . That sounds amazing. Do you think it could work for a neck injury I have been quite crippled by mine over the last few years following a skiing accident five years ago. Thanks Finola

        • Barbara jernegan says:

          Dr. Marc Darrow. Wilshire Blvd. LA He uses his hands to find trigger points. He teaches at UCLA and Veteran’s Admin. in LA. Teaches Doctors how to do the PRP

  6. joann robinson says:

    Great story…loved it

  7. John Frame says:

    Amazing Keith and they apparently have all the right “connections” to really make this happen. So please keep me in the loop while I place a trade!!

  8. GREGORIOU ZACHARIAS says:

    I will hold that stock
    even the half of that comes true
    it is worth the long wait

  9. Ron Barber says:

    very interesting

  10. Mark Culverhouse says:

    Sounds great Keith, what’s my next step to invest with Ekso.

  11. Craig Robinson says:

    I made an initial investment in this company when I read your first article. I also appreciate the follow-up article and your due diligence. Based on your findings I would agree that the company has tremendous upside and is a very good speculative play. Keep up the good work!

  12. David says:

    Contract with VA hospital to provide service to provide service and train personnel. Make this profitable rather than an endlessly dependant on research and development grants.–maybe I am shooting from the hip but this sort of product can be in development forever and that is a state of mind that may be right to cultivate genius but profit? Sure keep perfecting but get plugged into an to a revenue source by providing a service that will also yield feedback for research in a continuous loop.

  13. Barry Sorkin says:

    Sir

    Thanbks again foir your update and excellent writing

    to thoise that say when u note a $ 1 and they cant get in , well when your intial report came out i bought immediately and got in way under a buck for my main purchase

    But in eaach of your subsequent updates u still note that $ 1 stock figure and havent taken into account its upward movement since & thats what has been confusing to some in other comments in other updates

    As for me when u altered the buy statergy and said by rest over a 2 month period I acted to fast and bought some more almosst near its top but still average ( As I bought less than half the # of shares than my intial purchase ) even though i have averaged up on that second buy just over a $ 1 per share

    However I surely dont want to keep averaging up as I sit on a good 30 % profit, though even if did in the long run if it achieves only a fraction of what u belive it would be vworth it – However things can always change in markets , something bad may happen or hopefully down the line its bought out by google as googles aquistion of boston dynamic combined with Esko makes for complimentary technologies and should benefit both companies and the intial deal for a collaboration with the 2 companies on a darpa contract can just be the start to that

    as such, again not wnating toi keep averaging up without any guidance, if things stay unchanged as far as news over the nexdt 2 months do u have buy up to guidance if u can give such

    Meanwhile since this update came out an hr ago the price hasnt changed and has stayed up the 6 + % its been basically all day

    Than ks again,

  14. Juan Isaza says:

    Hello Keith, how are you?
    My name is Juan and I live currently in Colombia.
    I found this article very, but very interesting and I would love to have the principal contact of this Ekso’s company. I plan in investing and also on distributing their products in Colombia as there are lots of people who needs this kind of product and service here.
    Let me know what you think.
    Thanks and have a nice day!
    Juan Isaza

  15. marv says:

    Your article about EKSO was excellent. I felt the same way about the company when I first heard about it. I purchased 1000 shares at 1.05 and was hoping to buy more at a little less—————foolish move, the stock jumped to 1.35. I’ll still buy more though——————thanks again for your great investigative work. Marv

  16. Charles Willis says:

    Keith,
    Thank you for this report. I’m glad to know this is one important advancement in modern technology that the US Government hasn’t thrown a blanket over to conceal from the public. I will watch closely as I look for future holdings in my portfolios.
    Chuck Willis

  17. Robert Baal says:

    Great story, Keith. Waiting for your buy signal. R. Baal

  18. Kevin Zuchnik says:

    Thank you, Keith forthe info regarding Ekso Bionics. I was in Pharma for 30 year and I always got excited when a new product/ first in class was released. Thanks for the goose bumps and keep up the great work.

  19. Barry Sorkin says:

    Last Ps,

    was a trading halt on otc I heard now off and shot up from + 6..5 % to currently + 34 %, I am now up 55 % + many thanks

    Maybe should of buy when u update ?? if I was allowed to if it wasnt halted then, too busy writing comments ( LOL )

    Cant be greedy however and is now priced above my secoind buy

    Barry

  20. Chester Diers says:

    I just spoke to my daughter. She is a senior in college majoring in math. I read your article yesterday and sure enough she complained of TOO much DATA. Her brain is spinning! I explained to her the amount of data vs. the brain’s capacity and how a critical juncture has been crossed. I explained about human augmentation and how important it is to future advancement. She laughed and asked where she can get some(ok, she didn’t ask, but, thought it was funny if she had)! Look into Graphene, another advancement that is gonna’ power future advancement! Thanks for the info!

  21. Patricia Vasquez says:

    Hi Keith
    I had already purchased 200 shares on October 6thr of EKSO and felt really good about getting it. I’m only 6 weeks old in the stocks so I am quite scotch with my purchases until I catch on a little more; but after you wrote about it, I tried to order 200 more shares at
    TDAmeritrade and their IPO area is down. I have it pending and put $1.33 limit since it was only $1.25. It’s at $1.33 right now; so I’m going to have to watch it close for another 3+ hours or I’ll lose that one too. It’s happened before. I hate it! I could cancel that and raise the limit; but a worker did that for me to begin with. I tried; but it wouldn’t work for me.
    I read where Bloom Energy is about to go to an IPO; but it wouldn’t do me any good today anyway. I so much wanted to find out the symbol for the new $1.71 gas too ; but you have to pay an Oxford Club Member $799.00 to find out the company. That is so iterating when we already paid to belong.—Not that much, of course. That was the same with BABA and now the Texas Petroplex Shale name and symbol. A beginner whose already in the hole’s frustration. At least NASDAQ is rising now. That helps.
    They tried to show me me how to do Section 1092 Dividends to get fast money; but that was pitifully over my head. I think I only have two stocks that pay dividends; but I don’t know. I’m not there yet knowledge-wise. I have 9 years of college–I’m not stupid; but stocks certainly were miles away from my background. Well, I’ve wasted enough of your time. I certainly hope I get my EKSO; but it disappears at the end of the day and I start over tomorrow. Right? Thanks for EVERYTHING!!! Sincerely, Patricia Vasquez

  22. William Holcomb says:

    Kieth,

    Your recommendation to buy was extremely well received, I only wish I’d bought the day I received your email rather than waiting a day later when prices had gone from sub dollar to $1.60+ (more than 50% almost overnight). I didn’t get in until $1.49 and even though things have gone down since that day (I took your recommendation and didn’t go all in on the first day… another excellent call… thanks). I strongly sense that what you’ve foreseen will come to pass. That this little company, in time (you mentioned 2020), should be well known and reaping the fruits of its labor. Investment or no investment on my behalf, I hope and pray people like EKSO continue to help where help is needed and are rewarded. With the humane side of this story, there should be accolades given for what they’re doing – and will have done by then. In my humble opinion, this is material for a State Of The Union Address. Such a great hope for so many who are currently virtually hopeless. That is so long as we don’t end up in a 1929-1932 sliding scenario – and even then I see this eventually taking off, if in the meantime we can avoid a return to the dark ages. It might just take a bit longer to get its wings due to the current state of things, then again it might buck the trend of the mass market and shoot into orbit despite “things”. Although I’m all for making a profit when risking hard earned money to help things such as building experimental fighter jets, which to me is an honorary endeavor of its own, that is to stop the likes of ISIS, ISIL, Al-Queda and others that would have more of us needing EKSO’s devices (or caskets)… in a not so odd way there seems to be more to helping those already injured as there is 100% certainty of their fate versus the “what ifs” confronting those deciding on what to do on the offensive side of things so “our guys” don’t need these things. To bad there’s not more of a budget for them (yet). Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Great job…

    Thanks,

    Will H / Total Wealth Subscriber
    Colorado Springs

  23. Frederick Strong says:

    Impressive. In an earlier message you suggested buying and then waiting for the price to drop to around 75 cents before buying more. Does that still apply?

    • Barry Sorkin says:

      Hi Fred, I Am Barry

      not sure if this lkink will work but u spoke of Kieths initial report recoimentation Oct 2nd , on Oct 6 he changed it
      see & did send an e-mail to his credit

      https://totalwealthresearch.com/2014/10/change-tactics-ekso-keep-ahead-wall-street/

      or go to the top , click on archives and see article titled

      Change Your Tactics on EKSO to Keep Ahead of Wall Street — Below is the key part u ask about
      —————————-

      Given the stock’s strong response last week (and today) and the potential for more media excitement around the extended contract with Google and other projects just like it that are undoubtedly on the drawing board, I think you’re going to want to adapt your tactics to stay ahead of other investors on the path to profits.

      Here’s what to do:

      1. Cancel any lowball orders you have to buy the other 50% of your EKSO position at 75 cents.

      2. Instead, plan on adding to your EKSO position over the next two months, buying 25% at a time, until you’ve established a full 100% position.

      That way you’ll defeat day traders who would otherwise love to separate you from your money. You’ll also be forced to “buy low and sell high” by taking advantage of market volatility that frustrates most investors who seek the kind of potential Ekso offers.

      By the way, Ekso is still a “buy” at market, even though it’s pushed above $1.00/share. And my position sizing and stop instructions remain the same.

      ( I do not know if that means buy 25 % & 25 % = the 50 % , or if the 50 % is to be divided among 4 purchases over 2 months )

      I hoipe that helps, I must go now Bye

  24. c.carnon says:

    great ideas and progress in this field and robotics and medical sciences….i may be dead before they hit the mainstream availability and our current doctors are “up skilled” enough to make use of these
    advancements BUT it is good news that innovative companies are getting accepted as reasonable investments in the future….personally I wish more investors would look on these new ventures as a way of charitable gambling ….you have a better chance of hitting a jackpot than most lotteries and the” cause” is helping the innovators to IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES of a better life,…REALLY A” NO BRAINER: .CHERRY

  25. CHOONG BAICK says:

    Very impressive and inspiring story. The other day I bought 2,000 shares of EKSO at around $1.25.
    Should I buy more shares? I am a beginner in learning stock trading.
    Thank you.
    Choong Baick

  26. Joe Buhler says:

    This was a $6.50 stock a year ago. What happened to their growth story since then?

    • Anne says:

      My exact sentiments–why did this stock drop from $7.65 on 23Feb2014 to just $1 these days?

      • Keith says:

        Thanks for asking and for being part of the Total Wealth Family. Sometimes the simplest questions are the most insightful.

        Many small companies go through several distinct waves both in terms of valuation and pricing. The first is usually a period of high burn and high expectations. Then, reality sets in, management gets serious and the first real products enter the markets. Usually, there’s a transitional funding round or two as this is happening so prices tend to relax, often moving lower to match warrants issued at the time. Then, the company really gains traction as subsequent investors find the company even as it finds the footing needed to really grow dramatically.

        Ekso fits this “three wave” pattern perfectly so far and that’s where the company is right now. So the $1 price point is right on track for the kind of stable foundation needed for longer term growth.

        Best regards,

        Keith 🙂

  27. Paul says:

    Thanks for all he details, Keith!

  28. Gail says:

    I was on the Foundation Board of Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, CA for many years.
    The hospital is the only non-private facility on Newsweek’s top 20 rehabilitative hospitals year after year along with Chicago Rehab Institute, a private institution. This type of robotics is being used at Rancho on paraplegics
    and quads from pediatrics to adults with amazing success. I know exactly how you felt when you wintnessed the results. Patients who are quads or paraplegics as a result of injury or disease are able to move for the first time.
    I have seen a quad pediatric patient able to play X box with the aid of this kind of help. It is amazing and I agree offers a wonderful future medically as well as financially.

  29. Mile says:

    Very exiting news Keith. I am getting ready to enter EKSO position soon as I set my iTrade account Hope this move will be better than Chinas CXDC way back.

    Mile

  30. Mr Phil Shamon says:

    Goosebumps s right and the jump today just adds to them. Thank you for a wonderful article.

  31. william barbour says:

    Earlier this year EKSO’s staoc was over $7.99 a share then dropped over esevral months to it’s current price. Do you know the facts behind this loss?

  32. Sueli says:

    Thank you for EKSO recommendation. I bought for $1.31, but could not buy it “at market” like you said. I bought at limit of $1.31 300 shares. Should I increase the amount of shares?

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